Desert Storm, Leg 1: Mishra, Santosh lead Xtreme and Moto class

Defending champions Aabhishek Mishra and CS Santosh started their 2016 Desert Storm campaigns on an ominous note, topping the opening leg on Monday.

Participants headed off from Hanumangarh to Bikaner, with two competitive stages of a total of 82.14km en route.

The first special stage commenced from Hanumangarh and finished in Arjansar, while the second timed stage was from Arjansar to Mahajan.

In the Xtreme category, Mishra, along with co-driver P.V. Srinavas Murthy, looked comfortable at the front, completing the two special stages in 1m17.27s.

Nine-time Raid de Himalaya winner Suresh Rana (and co-driver Ashwin Naik), who has also tasted success in Desert Storm, was nearly five minutes behind in second place, driving a Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Amanpreet Ahluwalia was third fastest, while Sanjay Aggarwal and Rajiv Sally rounding-off the top five.

Last year’s Raid de Himalaya winner Lhapka Tsering finished down in 23rd place after a slow time in first special stage.

Santosh leads the way in Moto

In the Moto category, it was Santosh who led the way, completing the special stages in 1m24.28s. Jes David was not far behind in second place, having set a time of 1m26.18.

2015 Raid winner and TVS rider Aravind was third with 1:28.30 and would be looking for a closer fight with Santosh for the top spot.

Further back, Ashwini Kataria was fourth on leg 1, with the R Nataraj finishing fifth in another TVS RTR450 bike, 18 minutes down on Santosh’s benchmark.

Team Austria’s Rene Steinhart and Robert Hirt were classified sixth and ninth respectively while Markus Posendorfer endured a difficult day in the Thar Desert.

The Desert Storm continues on Tuesday between Bikaner and Jaisalmer, with 187 km of special stages.

Xtreme results (Top 10):

Pos.

Driver

Time

1

Aabhishek Mishra

1:17.27

2

Suresh Rana

1:22.38

3

Amanpreet Ahluwalia

1:26.35

4

Sanjay Agarwal

1:27.51

5

Ranjiv Sally

1:29.10

6

Sanjay Rasdan

1:29.23

7

Girijashankar Joshy G B

1:29.42

8

Himanshu Arora

1:30.15

9

Niju Padia

1:30.54

10

Jasmohan Singh

1:33.53

Moto results (Top 10):

Pos.

Rider

Time

1

CS Santosh

1:24.28

2

Jes David

1:26.12

3

Aravind KP

1:28.30

4

Ashwini Kataria

1:38.36

5

R Nataraj

1:42.49

6

Rene Steinhart

1:45.00

7

Ashish Raorane

1:46.31

8

Rajeev Singh Tomar

1:52.44

9

Robert Hirt

1:54.13

10

Virendra Waghela

1:57.37

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About this article
Series Indian Rally
Event Desert Storm
Drivers CS Santosh , Markus Pösendorfer
Article type Leg report